by Guy Page
For Addison Bowen of Wallingford, taking a pro-life stand has nothing to do with being religious or Republican. He’s neither.
Bowen describes himself as a secular Democrat. For him, abortion is an affront to science and social justice. The articulate young man asserts it makes no rational sense to say a human is not a person while in a birth canal and then suddenly becomes a person after it leaves the mother’s body.
The person hasn’t changed – “the only difference is location,” Bowen said.
Bowen abhors how oppressors through history have sought to justify injustice by labeling victims as “non-persons.” The sign he carried at the Vermont Right to Life rally Saturday, Jan. 23 on the steps of the Vermont State House shows a whipped slave, Jews in a Nazi concentration camp, and an unborn child – all equally ‘not a person,’ separated only by the date in history.
Bowen may not share the premise of conscience-stricken slaveholder Thomas Jefferson who wrote, “I tremble when I consider that God is just.” But his firm grip on human nature and history is as damning and succinct.
“Times change, people don’t. We’re always looking for some group to exploit,” Bowen said.
As a prolife, secular Democrat, Bowen is not alone. While Democratic leadership in Vermont and nationwide uniformly, rigidly advocate for unrestricted abortion, there are dissenters in the rank and file. An organization called Democrats for Life of America has state chapters nationwide, including New Hampshire. 81 of the 114 state and local candidates it endorsed won election in 2020.
A group named SecularPro-life publishes a blog approaching the abortion question from a rational, science-based perspective.
John Matthews of South Barre (above) sports one of the 200 “Life” masks distributed at the Rally for Life. Demand was high and supply ran out quickly at the event, which attracted 275 people. Those without “Life” masks wore their own, as requested by organizers.
“I’m here to be a voice for the unborn,” Matthew said. “We stand for pro-life and the unborn.”
The large crowd walked quietly from the Montpelier police station parking lot down Main and State streets to the State House, where they gathered on the steps and heard Vermont Right to Life Executive Director Mary Beerworth describe the work before them, including educating other Vermonters about the constitutional amendment to enshrine unrestricted abortion.
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